Anti-endangerment law
4:53 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Bikers, Walkers, Passengers Get New Protections In City Law

Updated at 9:30 am Saturday to correct a misspelling.

Legislation that gives some extra protections to cyclists, pedestrians, and passengers in cars in St. Louis City is on its way to the desk of Mayor Francis Slay.

The bill passed Friday with no opposition. It creates a new city ordinance violation for threatening or attempting to hurt a pedestrian, bicyclist or someone riding in a car. It also applies to individuals who use wheelchairs or other devices to help them get around.

The advocacy group Trailnet was a supporter of the measure. Policy director, Rhonda Smythe, says a story she heard from a Trailnet member highlights the need for the new language.

"He got into an argument with a person in a car, it escalated to the point where the person in the car tried to run him off the road, got out of the car, physically threatened him, and the only charge was disturbing the peace," Smythe said. 

Violations of the new law are punishable by fines, a brief stay in jail, or both. Smyth says Trailnet will work with other advocacy groups to push for similar laws statewide.